Valley Trail Run a test for learning runners 

The 13th annual Whistler Valley Trail Run takes place on Sunday, May 30, with both five kilometre and 10km courses for athletes.

This run is always well attended, attracting everyone from top local triathletes and marathoners to people who are out for a brisk walk. A few years ago members of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team used the race as part of their fitness program. Two years ago a male competitor, an accomplished triathlete, completed the 10km course in third place while pushing his son in a stroller.

This year a local trainer and running coach will use the race as part of a program for beginner level runners

"For the Valley Trail Run, the runners will be doing the 5 km race so we can have a 5km time for them," explains running coach Diana Rochon. "Then on July 1 I’ll send them out to Pemberton to run the Spud Run, which is 7 km, and the final goal is the Squamish 10km run on Aug.1

"It works out great. I think a lot of people forget that from April until August, from the first event to the Lumpy’s Epic Trial Run, there are a lot of good events like the Valley Trail Run that are spaced out over the summer that they can use, it’s a good progression."

Rochon has 13 people in her Run-On Group, which she put together this year after hosting a running workshop for the Vancouver Sun Run.

"A lot of the beginner runners we had wanted to keep going after that, so I set up another program for them. We will always have another event to keep training for," she added.

One lady in the group had never run before signing on with Rochon, while others have had running experience in the past but stopped training for whatever reason.

A typical session with the group starts with a light run around Lost Lake, followed by a series of drills based on a track workout. "We get them to work on their posture, focus on different sections and aspects of their gait. And once we finish the warm-up and the drill we’ll do a run on whatever course I have set up for the day," said Rochon.

You don’t need a coach to start running, but Rochon recommends spending at least a few hours with a trainer and running coach to ensure that your form and breathing are correct, and that you do the proper warm-up and stretching.

"The first thing is to check with your doctor to make sure everything is working well and that it’s okay to get started on a program," said Rochon. "The second piece of advice I would give would be to book one session with any of the personal trainers in Whistler that have experience creating running programs just to get advice on where to start, different things you should look at, some of the things you could do to make your running more effective and more efficient."

The biggest piece of advice she can give would be to follow a run-walk program, like the program that was set up for people training for the Vancouver Sun Run (available at www.sunrun.com).

"At the end of the day if you run efficiently and don’t get hurt, then you’re really going to stick with," said Rochon.

The 13 th annual Whistler Valley Trial Run starts in the parking lots opposite Municipal Hall and follows a gravel course around Lost Lake. People doing the 5km run will complete a loop of the lake and head back to the finish line by the Whistler Gondola. The 10km runners will branch off and complete the course with a lap on the Valley Trail around the Whistler Golf Course.

For the second year in a row the run will be followed by the Teddy Bear Run for children around the Carelton Lodge. Kids nine and under are asked to bring their favourite stuffed animal and will all be wearing bib number one. Parents are welcome to accompany their children around the course.

Registration is available at the Mountain Adventure Centure in the Pan Pacific Lodge for $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the event between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

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